Thursday, 19 April, 2018

Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept - the legend returns

Look beyond the giant swan-neck wing and diffuser Look beyond the giant swan-neck wing and diffuser
Theresa Hayes | 06 March, 2018, 15:37

The GR Supra Racing Concept makes its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show, reviving the name and spirit of the most celebrated model in Toyota's illustrious sportscar heritage and demonstrating Toyota's commitment to bringing the Supra back to the market. Not Toyota: the Japanese automaker has just unveiled the GR Supra Racing Concept, which previews the competition vehicle based on the upcoming Supra road auto.

The large "90" race number on the doors is a historical reference to Supra's codename and a big visual clue to the fact that this concept heralds Supra's return in a fifth generation. It's a front-engined rear-wheel drive racer which shares much of the styling expected from the road vehicle, but makes extensive use of an unidentified "lightweight composite material" for many of its parts.

The racing plumage includes a massive rear wing, wide front and rear bumpers, front splitter and rear diffuser, and side skirts - all of which are made from lightweight composite material, as is the bonnet which features louvered air inlets. This is the GR Supra Racing Concept, where the "GR" in its name points towards the carmaker's racing division, Gazoo Racing.

Toyota has not released full technical details of the concept but says that it will express the "fun to drive" quality of the firm's sports cars. Chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, who previously headed engineering for the GT86, told Autocar: "In May 2012 the chairman called me and told me to go to Germany".

"Supra is the sports auto of Toyota, and we're very proud of its heritage", he said. He added: "It's really fun to drive this auto. Front-engined, rear-drive - with such a concept, you can have the greatest amount of fun". The Z4 has traditionally started well under $100,000 which could mean the Supra will become a Mustang competitor.

He continued: "The development of the GT86 was extremely hard". Fingers crossed that Toyota's knowhow in producing fine-handling cars, combined with the expertise of BMW, will ensure the driving experience will sate the appetite of enthusiasts.

We'll be able to virtually drive the racy concept next month thanks to an upcoming update for the Gran Turismo video game.